JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The United States Embassy, on Wednesday, October 14, handed over nine boats to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to assist in the country’s crime fighting efforts at sea.
  • Commissioner of Police, Dr. Carl Williams, who received the vessels during a ceremony at his Old Hope Road offices in St. Andrew, expressed gratitude to the US Government for the generous contribution.
  • Additionally, the US Embassy will shortly be handing over bicycles to the JCF, and will also be providing body worn cameras to be used in police operations.

The United States Embassy, on Wednesday, October 14, handed over nine boats to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to assist in the country’s crime fighting efforts at sea.

The 37-foot Boston Whaler vessels are among 10 donated by the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affaires (INL), valued at US$1.5 million. The other vessel will be handed over at a later date.

Commissioner of Police, Dr. Carl Williams, who received the vessels during a ceremony at his Old Hope Road offices in St. Andrew, expressed gratitude to the US Government for the generous contribution.

He noted that the donation of the vessels will significantly boost the fleet available to protect the country’s borders.  Presently, there are only six operational vessels.

“Today, as I accept these boats, I cannot begin to explain how much of a difference they will make in improving the capacity of the marine police to protect our borders. It will more than double the fleet of reliable vessels that we have at the marine division,” he said.

Dr. Williams noted that the US is a key partner in crime fighting, supplying the JCF with 7,000 kits containing less lethal weapons last year, and only recently presented the Narcotics Division of the JCF with 10 cars to enhance the operations of the unit in drug trafficking investigations.

Additionally, the US Embassy will shortly be handing over bicycles to the JCF, and will also be providing body worn cameras to be used in police operations.

“These will be used to ensure that police accountability is boosted and will enhance the human rights record of the JCF,” Dr. Williams said.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Retired Major General Stewart Saunders, noted that improving the mobility of the police is a critical element in the Government’s strategy to reduce crime and violence.

“The emerging patterns of criminal activities in Jamaica require a police force that is able to respond quickly over diverse terrain of land or broad expanses of sea,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Jamaica, Hon. Luis Moreno, said that the vessels are an important part of a collaborative effort between the Governments of Jamaica and the US to boost the JCF’S crime fighting capabilities.

“We see Jamaica as a regional leader and I am glad to see increased law enforcement and cooperation across the Caribbean. This project is another example of the broad security partnership that exists between our two countries. We will continue to invest in this partnership because a strong, well trained, well equipped JCF is essential for a safe and secure Jamaica,” he stated.